Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford on divergent paths and uncertain futures

Buried beneath stories about former RATM bassist Tim Commerford being the last to know is a refreshing story about a musician finding a new start.
Rage Against The Machine In Concert - New York, NY
Rage Against The Machine In Concert - New York, NY / Astrida Valigorsky/GettyImages

Inquiring about the future of Rage Against The Machine? It turns out that members of the band's rhythm section offer divergent responses. The group has been dormant since 2022, following the abrupt halt of their latest reunion tour due to lead vocalist Zack De La Rocha's Achilles tendon injury. Tom Morello was the sole representative at their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction last year, symbolizing the uncertain state of the band. "Like most bands, we have differing perspectives on a lot of things, including being inducted into the Rock Hall," the guitarist said at the time.

While drummer Brad Wilk declared on Instagram the cessation of RATM's live performances — rather definitively saying "RATM (Tim, Zack, Tom and I) will not be touring or playing live again" — , bassist Tim Commerford remains uncertain. Commerford, now focusing on his new venture, a trio named 7D7D, has released several singles since 2022 and plans to embark on a tour.

When queried about the fate of RATM, Commerford humorously shrugged off the responsibility, stating that, as the bass player, he's simply waiting for instructions. Sure, Brad may have spoken, but Cummerford suggests Wilk is a step above him, as if the bass player is at the bottom of the pecking order. That's not true for a band like Primus, but maybe that's the reality for bass players in some bands, where they are always the last to know about such matters. Commerford seems to be relaxed about the situation, which may have something to do with a recent life event.

Tim Commerford's future beyond Rage Against the Machine

In addition to discussing his old band, Commerford disclosed his battle with prostate cancer, which led to the removal of his prostate two months before the ill-fated tour. "Doctors said I wasn't going to be ready [for the tour]. That was brutal. I would be on stage looking at my amp in tears. Then you just... turn round and suck it up."

Reflecting on his recovery, he shared that he nicknamed himself 'Cancer Man.' Despite being in his fifties, he says he's currently in the best shape of his life. However, the specter of cancer remains. It's a constant presence, monitored through regular PSA tests. He says this experience has altered his perspective, forcing him to slow down and appreciate life more. Perhaps it's as Gandhi said: "There is more to life than increasing its speed."

Although prepared to resume performances with RATM if they decide to reunite, Commerford is presently enthusiastic about exploring diverse venues with 7D7D, expressing his desire to perform in unconventional settings like bowling alleys and coffee houses, saying to Rolling Stone: "I want to go out there and do this and not be the guy from Rage as much as I can..."